Saturday’s Military Devotional – Instructed

20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
21 There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. Proverbs 19:20-21

AMP and RVR 1960


CONTEXT: 

If you can remember back to boot camp you have to remember getting off the bus and being SCREAMED at by some Drill Sergeant barking out instructions so fast you had no clue what they said or what to do. 

There was a method and reason to their madness that I did not understand until I had nearly finished Basic Training.  Basically we need to react under pressure under stress of combat and since shooting recruits would not be advisable (or legal 🙂 ) screaming like banshees is the next best thing. In order to insure a soldier does no harm to themselves or others one must learn to act in differing situations of stress. 

Here in our text the preceding v.19 has the same implication, an unwise man (here one who can not control his emotions) must learn the consequences of those actions otherwise he will repeat the mistake and cause himself and or others harm.  


BREAKDOWN:

20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end. –  NO ONE, likes to be yelled at, told they are wrong, continually corrected.  Yet the bible is clear, God loves to “correct” that is “Instruct” his chosen and as Proverbs 12:1 says those who oppose God’s loving instruction are “Stupid.”

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible comments on this Those that would be wise in their latter end, must be taught and ruled when young.

21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. –  What is it man longs for; wealth, fame, power?  All these things are the focus of a corrupt heart. Man can plan, scheme and conive all he wishes but to what end? God will always have the final say Psalm 33:10.  


APPLICATION: 

Just as recruits must be taught the ways of soldiering so too those who enter into God’s Army need learn His ways in order to fight the good fight. We cannot be afraid of being continual instruction, being rebuked and getting wise counsel. 

The Book of Psalms 1:1-6 begins with such an exhortation:

Blessed is the man[a]
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law[b] of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night. 


Today’s Questions:

 

Say What?

Observation: What did I read? What struck you as most meaningful?

So What?

Interpretation: What does it mean? Overall and the most meaningful? Did it change your view on INSTRUCTION

Now What?

Application: How does it apply to me?

Then What?

Implementation: What do I do? How can I start living it out today?

Secrets of the Lord

Image result for Ps 25:14

So who does not want to know God’s secrets? Come on I know you all do. I mean sharing the knowledge of the all-knowing one sounds pretty heady stuff to me. Before we get there lets look at our text for today Psalm 25:14.

There are various translations of the Hebrew word ( Strong’s Number: 05475) Cowd, “secret” in modern bibles. Some use friendship, other chose a combination of the literal meaning and use intimate counsel, while some just use confide.

Personally I like the KJV (although I have others AMP, CSB, ESV), far to many of these modern versions miss the mark in meaning in an attempt to make it easier to understand. The Amplified Bible as a good example takes the KJV and expounds upon it, this verse reads: 

The secret [of the wise counsel] of the Lord is for those who fear Him,
And He will let them know His covenant and reveal to them [through His word] its [deep, inner] meaning.

My point for today is simple God DOES NOT keep secrets from His chosen people. His Word makes it clear only the unbeliever is hardhearted and close-minded to the ways of the Lord. Yet believers can be easily confused and loose the intimate counsel of His Word by using the wrong translation or not taking due diligence to investigate the meaning fully. So if you want to know God’s secrets and share in His covenant fully get in the Word today.

 

I offer John Calvin’s Commentary to help us understand more fully:

The counsel of Jehovah. The Psalmist here confirms what he had just said in a preceding verse, namely, that God will faithfully discharge the office of a teacher and master to all the godly; and, after his usual manner, he repeats the same sentiment twice in the same verse for the covenant of God is nothing else than his secret or counsel. By the use of the term secret, he means to magnify and extol the excellency of the doctrine which is revealed to us in the law of God. However much worldly men, through the pride and haughtiness of their hearts, despise Moses and the prophets, the faithful nevertheless acknowledge, that in the doctrine which they contain, the secrets of heaven, which far surpass the comprehension of man, are revealed and unfolded. Whoever, therefore, desires to derive instruction from the law, let him regard with reverence and esteem the doctrine which it contains. We are, farther, by this place admonished to cultivate the graces of meekness and humility, lest, in reliance upon our own wisdom, or trusting to our own understanding, we should attempt, by our own efforts, to comprehend those mysteries and secrets, the knowledge of which David here declares to be the prerogative of God alone. Again, since the fear of the Lord is said to be the beginning, and as it were the way that leads to a right understanding of his will, (Psalm 111:10,) according as any one desires to increase in faith, so also let him endeavor to advance in the fear of the Lord. Moreover, when piety reigns in the heart, we need have no fear of losing our labor in seeking God. It is indeed true, that the covenant of God is a secret which far exceeds human comprehension; but as we know that he does not in vain enjoin us to seek him, we may rest assured that all those who endeavor to serve him with an upright desire will be brought, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to the knowledge of that heavenly wisdom which is appointed for their salvation. But, in the meantime, David indirectly rebukes those who falsely and groundlessly boast that they are interested in the covenant of God, while they rest merely in the letter of the law, and have no saving impressions of the fear of God. God, it is true, addresses his word indiscriminately to the righteous and the wicked; but men do not comprehend it, unless they have sincere piety; just as Isaiah 29:11, says, that as regards the ungodly, the law is like “a book that is sealed.” And, therefore, it is no wonder that there is here made a distinction between those who truly serve God, and to whom he makes known his secret, and the wicked or hypocrites. But when we see David in this confidence coming boldly to the school of God, and leading others along with him, let us know, as he clearly shows, that it is a wicked and hateful invention to attempt to deprive the common people of the Holy Scriptures, under the pretense of their being a hidden mystery; as if all who fear him from the heart, whatever their state or condition in other respects may be, were not expressly called to the knowledge of God’s covenant.